Google changed the image search function

Angelica Greene
February 19, 2018

Since Getty Images has complained to the European Commission in 2017 that Google has anti-competitive practices, the search giant has made it more hard for people to save pictures from its image search product.

When searching for images online, Google offered a very useful option in the form of a "View Image" button for each result.

However the changes are only cosmetic.

The View image extension located in the Chrome Web Store not only restores the button but also restores the also removed "Search Google with this image" link when right clicking on an image on a webpage. As a result, Google has removed this button, forcing users to visit the site to access the full-sized version of the image.

Last week, Google signed a multi-year global licensing deal with Getty Images that allows Google to use Getty Images across its different services.

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Getty Images said Google had also agreed to display image copyright information more prominently next to results. Now, to download the image in maximum resolution, you need to go to the source file.

"For those asking, yes, these changes came about in part due to our settlement with Getty Images this week". Specifically, a new Chrome Extension can be installed to generate the same old button that allows you to find an image and view it directly. The only problem with that is, instead of just loading the image it loads the website hosting it.

Now, however, one must visit the owner or publisher's site and save the image from there.

Getty Images sells photos online for a living, and the company accused Google of anti-competitive practices.

Many suggested people should try rival image search engines such as Bing, which still have a "view image" button. By forcing users to visit the publisher's website to access full-sized images, Google will generate more ad impressions and clicks, which means more advertising revenue.

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